By Harvey Breaux and Dustin Hurst | IdahoReporter.com
Small-time auto dealers will need to keep their doors open at least 20 hours each week after a Senate panel killed legislation to repeal the mandate.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Kelley Packer, R-McCammon, would have allowed small auto dealers to post their phone numbers on their place of business instead of staying open 20 hours each week.
Some felt the regulation, originally written by the Idaho Transportation Department, would kill start-ups and other small companies.
"I had a good friend who sold vehicles to get through school,” Packer said. “There was no way he could have gotten a brick and mortar location or stayed open 20 hours a week."
Concerns over the wording, though, led the bill to the junkyard.
The legislation requires sellers to post the phone number at the place of business. As written, senators worried it would force those selling from their homes to have a commercial space.
Sen Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, motioned to kill the measure. He suggested another fix.
"It seems to me that a simpler solution would be to just change the amount of cars you're allowed to sell before you're subject to these requirements," Hagedorn said.
Idaho law requires dealers who sell four or more cars annually to obtain a permit from the state.
Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, said the bill was good enough, even with the language concerns.
"I think some language could use improvement, but I think it's still important that we send this on the floor with a do-pass recommendation,” Vick said.
Vick tried unsuccessfully to revive a resolution calling for simple repeal of ITD’s 20-hour mandate, but Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello, blocked the attempt.
After the meeting, Hagedorn said the issue is likely dead for the year unless the House Transportation and Defense Committee acts on it.
He also said the matter was too complex to send the bill to the Senate’s amending order for changes, the reason he opted for the simple kill.